When we were planing our trip to Sonoma, I think I straddled the line of being really excited to take a trip- just the three of us - with no solid agenda but to enjoy ourselves... and expecting to be stressed the entire time managing an active toddler who is hard to wrangle.
BUT WE HAD SUCH AN AMAZING TRIP!
From the moment we hopped on the plane (Jett's first borderline 4 hour flight) to the moment we returned home again, all three of us thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
Our plans were very loosly put together - all we had were flights, and a 2 bedroom rental cottage booked, and the rest of our agenda was left for us to fly by the seat of our pants.
We stayed at the cutest - most photogenic little cottage just a few minutes from downtown Sonoma. The Dove Cottage was PERFECT for our stay with Jett as it had two bedrooms, a kitchen complete with vintage SMEG fridge - which reminds me of our European travels and brought so much character to the space! Having a kitchen definitely came in handy when we had early nights spent in so that Jett could go to bed! And Jett's favorite part: a fenced in yard (both front and back) that he could run around and play in. (We will have to go back in the summer, as the cottage has a pool that Jett would just LOVE!) Our master bedroom had two sets of french doors that led out to the back patio and pool area and temperatures were nice enough to open the doors a bit in the afternoons. (and maybe its because were midwesterners, but 55 degrees felt pretty amazing to us!) It just felt like the perfect little escape for our little family.
(I'm quickly realizing how great it is to stay in rentals like these where we need space to enjoy when Jett naps, or goes to bed early! It's like a home away from home!)
OUR (loose) PLANS
(I'll save the details of all our activities for the next post! But here was what was on our agenda!):
We had very loose plans including a few meals out, exploring Train Town - an amusement park with a couple rides, old trains turned into play areas, and a mini train ride that took you on a big loop around the entire park. We also knew we wanted to check out a winery or two and did our research our first day in Sonoma for kid-friendly wineries. To our surprise, we found several wineries that seemed to be conducive to kids! Ultimately we were able to get to two wineries, but now I have a list of more I'd like to check out on our next visit! Other than that we were happy to relax at home, or run around the yard - since that was all Jett wanted to do!
MORE INSIGHT INTO TRAVELING WITH LITTLES
I swear after every trip we learn so much more about how to travel best with Jett. I think this trip to Sonoma helped me realize much easier it has seemed to get each trip, and its probably a combination of two things:
- Jett's getting older, his attention span keeps getting longer when it comes to entertaining him on a long flight - or staying busy when were out and about. Plus he seems more tolerant the older he gets when naps are pushed back or we just get off schedule a little bit. The flexibility he has acquired has been HUGE!
- WE'RE getting better by just doing. All of us! I think if I would have given up hopes of travel back 3 trips ago when it just seemed so impossible, we wouldn't have gotten over that hump!
- My attitude shifted from trying to control every moment and stressing out if it didn't go how I planned - to being much more laid back and just accepting that things will never go as planned. (still working on it but I have realized how CRITICAL it is to be more flexible!)
Would I do Wine Country again? - WITH Jett?? ABSOLUTELY! And we plan on it!!!